Kim Anderson

Report: Missouri signee Namon Wright to ask for release from National Letter of Intent

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One of the most important tasks for a new head coach is recruiting, from the players who have yet to make a choice to those who are already a part of the program. Of course there will be turnover, as evidenced by the rising number of transfers in college basketball, but the key for any new coach is to make sure he’s got enough quality pieces to be competitive.

And there there’s the dilemma of what to do with prospects who have signed a National Letter of Intent with the prior staff. While some will decide to stick around despite a coaching change others will want to reopen their recruitment, and that’s reportedly the case with Missouri signee Namon Wright.

One day after Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times reported that Wright would be requesting his release Jacob Steimer of the Columbia Missourian confirmed the news with Wright’s high school coach. According to Pacific Hills coach Ivan Barahona, Missouri asked Wright to hold off on the request until they completed the hiring process with former Central Missouri head coach Kim Anderson eventually being the hire.

However despite this move to request a release from his NLI, Wright apparently remains interested in Missouri despite the departure of the coaches (Frank Haith and Mark Phelps) who spent so much time recruiting him.

Barahona said Anderson will be in Los Angeles on Tuesday to talk with Wright, and he made it clear that Wright is still heavily considering attending Missouri.

“He likes Missouri a lot, let met tell you,” Barahona said.

Wright told his coach that Missouri’s campus is beautiful, that the people he met there were great, and that he enjoys Missouri’s fans who follow him on Twitter.

Missouri currently has two players committed to joining the program, with Jakeenan Gant deciding to remain signed and D’Angelo Allen committing Sunday. The retention of Gant was obviously a positive development for Anderson and his staff, which includes holdover Tim Fuller.

And if they can convince Wright, a Top 100 product, to join the program Missouri will receive a much-needed boost on the perimeter as they look to account for the early departures of Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
AP Photo
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.